Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/687/12866
The Socialist 28 September 2011 |
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Standing up for our pension rights
The Gloucestershire Echo recently ran a feature on the pros and cons of going on strike to defend pensions, Socialist Party member Rob Bishop put the position for the strikes, against the arguments of a local Tory MP.
These are extracts from his article:
"I fully support the strike. The workers are defending their terms and conditions and the government isn't seriously negotiating. They've had the unions around the table, then made an unrealistic offer that was always going to be unacceptable to the unions.
What can you do when your pensions are being raided and you're losing something that you've worked long and hard for? Just like anybody would, they're standing up to defend their rights.
We are running a huge budget deficit because the last Labour government bailed out the banks. The government is trying to make ordinary working people pay for a crisis not of their making. It was nothing to do with the public sector workers and they shouldn't be the ones who are expected to solve the problem. Many of the people whose pensions are at risk are not well paid at all, which makes it doubly unfair.
I suggest they increase the tax take by hunting down all the millionaires who take their profits abroad to avoid tax, because that would be much fairer.
That would go partly to make up the shortfall because there's something like £120 billion which goes uncollected - and that's a huge amount.
Many of the leaders of the unions involved are not known for their militant tendencies, but their members are forcing them into it because they know they have to fight for what they are due.
I was at the National Shop Stewards Network meeting in London recently and it was clear the mood is militant - justifiably so.
The union members know that their futures are at risk and that's why they are doing this. I only hope that the TUC turns out to be as militant as its members."